March 15, 2014 — Race report by Steven Ovens — Photo Courtesy World of Outlaws — TULARE, CA — Two of the stories that we have followed so far this season with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars have been: ‘Where is Daryn Pittman?’ and ‘With all of the troubles for Logan Schuchart and Jacob Allen, can they make the full tour?’
It is safe to say both of those questions were answered last night. Pittman nailed down win number 1 for 2014 while Schuchart led the first 22 laps of the A-Main before fading to his first top-10 finish of the season, coming home 8th.
Schuchart was strong right off the truck qualifying 8th while Joey Saldana, broken arm and all, set quick time with a time of 12.800 seconds. Schuchart took home 2nd in his heat to put him in the dash that sets the lineup for positions 1-10. He would back that performance up by winning the dash and securing the pole for the 35 Lap A-Main.
When the green flag waved, Schuchart pulled out to a comfortable lead while the best that the WoO STP Sprints has to offer were waging war behind him. Donny Schatz, Brad Sweet, Paul McMahan and Pittman all were swapping positions and battling lap traffic by the time they hit Lap 22 of the event.
Lap 22 saw Schatz and Pittman blow by Schuchart, which would set the table for a battle for the win in Tulare. Pittman has never had a comfort level with Thunderbowl although he ran in the Top-5 twice in 2013. He also hadn’t won a race since last July even though the KKR team took home the 2013 Tour Championship.
On night 1 in Tulare, Pittman wasn’t going to let Schatz rain on his parade. Pittman led laps 23-35 to take home the $10,000 A-Main win, Schatz had to settle for 2nd, Paul McMahan, who has been strong so far in 2014, was 3rd while Kerry Madsen and the tough as nails Saldana rounded out the top-5.
“This has been the kind of voodoo place for me that I’ve never felt comfortable, and last year we came here and ran third and fifth and real well. To snap our non-winning streak here in Tulare, I’ll tell you what, I couldn’t be any happier,” said Pittman in Victory Lane.
Paul McMahan now enjoys a 10 point lead over Donny Schatz, 20 points over Pittman, 27 points over Steve Kinser and 45 points over Brad Sweet. The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Cars has Night #2 at Tulare tonight and then next Saturday will head to the Stockton 99 Dirt Track for the FVP Western Spring Shootout.
Keep it here on Race Chaser Online, Speed77 Radio and the Turn 5 Racing Podcast to keep up with the happenings of the World of Outlaws and several other Sprint Series across the East Coast and Canada.